The Reds need a shortstop.
The Reds need a leftfielder.
The Reds need a third baseman.
The Reds need another starting pitcher.
Throughout the first half of the season, at one time or another, every one of these wishes have been uttered by Reds fans. Chances are, there are a good number of Reds fans crying out for all of these things right now.
While I wouldn’t complain if Jose Reyes, Ryan Braun, Kevin Youkilis and Cliff Lee suddenly showed up in the Reds’ locker room, I think there is somebody the Reds need even more:
While I have no knowledge of whether P-Pat has any baseball skills (though I think we can all be certain that he could throw out a better first pitch than John Wall), there is no doubt that he was a model of consistency throughout his Wildcat career. Every Single Night you could write it down that he was going to get double digit points and around eight rebounds. He didn’t get his career averages of 16.5 and 8 by going off for 30 and 15 one night and then struggling for 4 and 2 the next. You knew what you were getting from Patterson every game.
Outside of King Votto and (to a lesser extent) Ramon Hernandez, the Reds simply don’t have anyone that provides this level of consistency. (Well, other than the shortstop platoon ofJanish/Renteria, and that ain’t the good kind of consistency.) Look no further than NL Player of the Month Jay Bruce. He batted .342 with 12 HRs and 33 RBI in the second month of the season. In April he was .228, 4 and 11, and he wrapped up June with .217, 2 and 7. It all averages out to .270, 18 and 51. Solid numbers, but the truth of the matter is for two thirds of the season he has played well below this standard.
Jonny Gomes is hitting .320 this month. Problem is, his other months have been so horrible his batting average on the season is .225. Even Brandon Phillips, in the middle of what may be a career year, batted 100 points lower in May than he did in the other two months. And while Rolen and Stubbs have maintained consistent batting averages throughout the season, neither have provided day in and day out what the Reds really need from them: power from Rolen and on-base percentage from Stubbs.
The Reds season has so far been a roller coaster because too many of the Reds players have been roller coasters. Nonetheless, they showed some signs of life by taking 2 of 3 from the Rays, and they need to do the same against the Tribe this weekend in Cincy. If they can do that, they can control their destiny into the All-Star break with three against the Cardinals and four against the Brewers.